Even though modern performance cars are much more powerful than sports cars from 10 years ago, it's getting more and more difficult to actually use them on the road. The cost of gas, more traffic and strict speed enforcement mean an increasing number of enthusiasts are heading to the track to get their kicks. The new Ford Mustang FP350S strips away all concession to comfort and road legal requirements for a proper on-the-track racing experience.
Although you could do regular track days in the Mustang FP350S, hauling it around on a trailer and lapping with other enthusiasts in their regular road cars, Ford Performance has bigger dreams. The car has been set up to take on official road-racing sprint events like Trans Am (TA3 and TA4 classes) and SCCA/NASA club racing (T1 and T2 classes).
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The amateur race transformation starts at the seam-welded chassis, which is reinforced with an FIA-approved roll cage. Drivers sit in an FIA-compliant bucket seat, and the standard multifunction steering wheel has been replaced with a quick-release unit. A full MOTEC data-tracking system is also included, making it easier to break down what went right (or more likely wrong) in the previous race.
Rather than fitting a paddle shift gearbox, Ford Performance has stuck with a good old fashioned stick shift. The flat-plane crank V8 from the road car has been gently worked over, and new components like a new oil pan and cooler should help with reliability, even under extreme stress on the racetrack. With a new race-oriented exhaust system, there should be even more glorious V8 noise on tap, too.
The racing package sits on reworked suspension, designed to work with a race-oriented electric steering setup and bigger brakes. 19-inch wheels are standard, but 18-inch forged units are optional, and should improve handling thanks to their lower unsprung weight.
Ford hasn't released any information about pricing yet, but it does say the FP350S will be available in American dealerships soon.
Source: Ford PerformanceView gallery - 2 images